High court ruling on County Commissioners is a warning to those who violate the Constitution - Wamalwa
Written by Wanyonyi Wa Wasike
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KENYANS have been urged to learn a lesson from Friday’s High Court ruling that nullified President Mwai Kibaki’s appointment of 47 County Commissioners and adhere to the spirit of the new constitution during the next general elections.
Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eugene Wamalwa warned that if the law on gender balance in public appointments under the new Constitution is not adhered to, the next Senate and Parliament may fail to take off.
Wamalwa said that Friday’s ruling by High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi that declared Kibaki’s appointments as having failed to meet the new constitutional threshold must act as a warning to Kenyans.
Addressing mourners during the burial of Mama Sarah Makokha Barasa, mother to suspended Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Barasa at Kimabole village in Mount Elgon District, the minister added that the ruling was a clear pointer that Kenya had come a long way in finally realizing the freedom of the judiciary.
“I want to urge Kenyans to walk and talk the spirit of the new constitution because failure to do so, we may end up with a scenario whereby the next county governments, parliament as well as the senate fail to work because of failure to meet this important constitutional requirement,” warned Wamalwa.
The Saboti Mp who was accompanied by Mount Elgon Mp Fred Kapondi and nominated Mp Musikari Kombo stressed that under the new constitution; women must henceforth occupy thirds of all public appointments and reminded Kenyans to be alive to that constitutional requirement.
“It will be very easy for any Kenyan to move to court to stop the working of the next government if we fail to respect the gender parity principle,” cautioned Wamalwa.
He announced that it’s for this reason that he will table a constitutional amendment bill on two-thirds gender in parliament in order to avoid any constitutional hiccups that may arise over the same during the next general elections.
Wamalwa also urged fellow Members of Parliament to consider the gender parity provision while electing Chair persons and members of various committees in the August House.
Friday, Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi ruled that President Kibaki had flouted provisions of the Constitution by creating nonexistent positions of County Commissioners and appointing people to fill them in disregard of the Constitution.
The judge ruled that the President violated the provision on gender balance and those that required him to consult with Prime Minister Raila Odinga in line with the National Accord and Reconciliation Act.
The judgment was delivered on a petition that was filed by lobby groups (Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW), on the one hand, and Patrick Njuguna and Charles Omanga )challenging the appointments.